I can’t remember anymore where I first heard about gratitude and its ability to change your outlook on life. I remember reading about in O, The Oprah Magazine among other places. So one day I finally did it, I sat down and wrote down as many things as I could think of that I was grateful for. Then I added new things to it for a week. And an amazing thing happened – I felt better.
Writing down my own Gratitude List and keeping it on my computer made me take more notice of the good things around me. Since I updated it everyday for a week, the happiness and satisfaction I felt with my life stayed with me for almost a month. Needless to say, now whenever I feel sad, depressed or out-of-sorts, I stop and do a quick gratitude list. At my old job if I started feeling stressed at work, I would write down 3-5 things I liked about my job: I worked at my own pace, I had hours I liked, and I enjoyed good benefits.
Many times my small list would blossom – I’d add things such as; I like the people I work with, I’m glad I can decorate my desk as I like, I’m lucky I can take a break when I want to instead of on a pre-arranged schedule, and so on. As you can imagine, it was remarkable how quickly my list could snowball, and it made me realize how much I took for granted each day.
If you’ve never done this exercise before, there’s no better time to try it than now. You can even title it: “What I like about my life right now.” I’ve had quite a few setbacks this past week so writing this topic is very timely. Here are a few things I’m grateful for at the moment:
- I’m healthy and feeling good.
- I’m glad I have fun technology like a computer, big-screen TV and CD player.
- My dogs are so cute and they make me laugh a lot.
- I really enjoyed the cool breezes we had last night and tonight after such a hot August.
- I enjoy getting emails from friends and family.
Of course there’s always more to add, but it only took me a minute to come up with these. I suggest doing this once a day for a week, or doing one big list and keeping it in a notebook or on your computer. You can refer to it whenever you’re sad or lonely and it will cheer you up.